We have some exciting new to share, and as you can see from the title...we are MOVING (June 2019)! Let me start at the beginning and share with you our journey that has ultimately led to where we are now. After we graduated from NC State almost 10 years ago, Eric worked a sales job, went on part-time staff at our church, and also went to Southeastern Seminary where he pursued his Masters of Divinity. Busy, right?!
What we discovered is that he thrived in a ministry setting, and his heart felt a deep longing to serve in that capacity full time. I too loved having the opportunity to do ministry, plus, y'all know I'm a pastor's daughter so that just felt normal. After a few years of living in Raleigh, we desired to serve in some capacity overseas. We weren't sure if that was something we (read: me) wanted to do forever, but we both agreed to short term.
So an opportunity came up through our church, Providence, that would send us to Kazakhstan (Kah-zek-ston). He only had a couple of classes left to receive his M-Div and could finish them online. So we pack our bags and headed to Central Asia, where we lived for 10 months with our first daughter. Eric thrived. He loved it. He was ready to turn in his application to live there for the rest of his life. However, other circumstances prevented that, and we needed to come home.
Eric was offered a sales/marketing job in Greensboro at the end of our stay in K-stan. We prayed a lot about moving to Greensboro to accept this job, and we both agreed that this was the next step for our family. After we committed to moving to Greensboro, we searched for a church online (because we were still in K-stan). We found Mercy Hill and read all about her. Upon immediately moving back, we attended Mercy Hill and haven't looked back.
Within the year, we started leading a community group and Eric later started working (very part time) under our pastor, assisting in sermon prep. All the while maintaining his business job...but we both knew this isn't where he belonged forever. This isn't where we belonged forever.
We LOVE Greensboro. We love everything about living here. We have family down the street, amazing neighbors and neighborhood, wonderful community and friends. I could go on. Let me tell you that if it wasn't for Jesus, we would live here for the rest of our lives and be just fine. We know the Lord has something else for us. We know we were created to do hard things for the sake of the Gospel. We know that we only get one life and we want to completely lay it down before God. We're praying that God would use us for the sake of getting the Gospel to the nations.
At the end of our life, we want to say that we gave it all. We want to leverage our resources, our gifts, talents, money, and time, because we LOVE people, and we LOVE Jesus.
After an in-depth assessment process, much prayer, and consideration, our leadership at Mercy Hill has decided to send us off to plant a new church. Eric will be a part of Mercy Hill's Church Planting residency, as well as, a church planting resident at The Summit Church (in RDU), starting full time in August/September. Next summer, we will be moving with a team to Tampa Bay to start a brand new church- New City Church! We are excited for what the Lord has in store, but sad to leave everything and everyone we love here. It's a gift to be sad to leave - it means we lived well.
People ask us, why did you name your church New City? The name was birthed out of Revelation 21-22, where the writer (John), creates a picture of what our new home in Heaven will look like when we go live with Jesus. We will live in perfect relationship with God and one another. There will be no more sadness, crying, or anger. There will be no more injustice, starvation, sickness or disease. Babies won't die, children won't starve, nations won't be at odds, hearts will not be broken, children will not be harmed, people will not be evil. We are told to long for that new city, and so we want to be a people who hope and live out of that longing to be with Jesus. New City Church will be a people who, while living here on earth, remembers that this is not our home; we seek to gather as a people who continually point one another to the Greater City and a Greater Hope.
So where are we in the process and how can you pray/help?
-Currently we are building a team. Pray for excitement and commitment. Pray that we would trust the Lord in this and know that He has already ordained a team (and let us know if you are interested in coming!). Pray that our team would be unified in vision and mission.
-I am looking for a full-time job. Ideally it would be something I could carry over to Tampa.
-Financial support. With church planting, we have to raise a lot of money to launch our church. Pray that we would trust the Lord in providing, and pray to consider giving!
-Pray for our families and for us as we leave. Pray that we would find our joy in Christ alone.
-Pray against discouragement and disunity - we know that when we choose to do things for Gospel movement, Satan wants to stop it. Pray for protection!
We are excited and want you to come along in our journey, whether it's through prayer, giving of resources, or coming with us! I will keep you updated and will soon share our reason for choosing Tampa!
Please share this to spread the word and check out our website where you can learn more about New City Church!